How can Pakistan become a prosperous economy again
Pakistan: international partner or problematic? / Dietrich Reetz - [Electronic ed.] - Bonn, 2003 - 19 pp. = 90 KB, text. - (FES analysis)
Electronic ed .: Bonn: FES Library, 2003
The Pakistani President and Army Chief, General Musharraf (born 1943), made his announcement come true on November 23, 2002 and, after three years of military rule, handed over the office to a civilian government. The partially controversial elections to the national parliament and the provincial assemblies of October 1 and 10, 2002, after difficult negotiations, resulted in a coalition government that follows the political course of the president. Zafarullah Khan Jamali (born 1944) was elected Prime Minister, who has to rely on a motley coalition with a majority of only one vote. The strongest force in the government is the Pakistani Muslim League "Qa'id-e Azam"
However, the military has withdrawn completely from politics. President Mushar-raf remains head of the army for the time being and has secured policy authority on key issues through controversial constitutional amendments by decree. So far, the hoped-for stabilization of the domestic political situation has not materialized either. The opposition parties are blocking the work of parliament and calling for the constitutional amendments to be withdrawn or renegotiated. They ask Musharraf to legitimize his presidency through parliament. He is supposed to give up the dual function of president and army chief, which meets with particular resistance.
The Islamist provincial government of the MMA in the northwest is also challenging the president. It passed a law introducing Islamic law with a rather nominal effect and decreed some populist measures against "un-Islamic behavior". This also includes the establishment of a special authority to monitor behavior that conforms to Islam, a kind of religious police. In addition, the MMA coordinates the resistance against the president and his government in parliament. In doing so, she makes no secret of her rejection of Pakistan's participation in the international anti-terrorist coalition, and especially cooperation with the United States. This stance has only limited practical effects because the provincial government's room for maneuver is limited and the controversial measures have already landed for review before the courts.
National Assembly (of 342)
(out of 100)
Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid-e Azam) - PML (QA)
Pakistan People's Party (Parliamentarians) - PPP (P)
Muttahida Majlis-e `Amal - MMA
National Alliance - NA
Muslim League (Nawaz) - PML (N)
Muttahida Qaumi Mahaz - MQM
PML fractions (F, J, Z)
Pakistan Awami Tahrik - PAT
Pakistan Tahrik-e Islam - PTI
Jamhoori Watan Party - JWP
Pak-Shia Political Party
Baluchistan National Party (BNP) and political groups
Baluchistan National Movement - BNM
Awami National Party - ANP
Pakhtun Khwa Milli Awami Party - PKMAP
The reason for the military coup in 1999 was initially power-political disputes with then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He had tried to replace army chief Musharraf with a more docile military man in order to control the army command after the judiciary and the presidency. Differences over the consequences of the intervention of the Pakistani military in May-July 1999 in the Indian-controlled Kargil district of Kashmir had put a heavy strain on the relationship between the army and the prime minister. The army had to withdraw under heavy losses, strong international pressure, especially from the USA, and heavy military resistance from India. For this, Na-waz Sharif wanted to pass sole responsibility on to the army command.
Soon after he came to power, Musharraf became convinced that Pakistan urgently needed structural economic and political reforms in order to survive. As a representative of the military leadership, Musharraf realized that the desolate internal situation of the country was becoming an increasing external security risk. Pakistan seemed to be increasingly poorly equipped for competition with India, which to a large extent determines the domestic and foreign policy self-image of the Pakistani ruling elite.
In the economic field, a plan to stimulate the economy (Economic Revival Plan) accepted. It contains a number of overdue changes that are difficult to implement. These demands go z. Some of them are based on longstanding recommendations from the World Bank. It is provided, among other things,
- increase tax revenue by introducing a sales tax in retail,
- to enforce a taxation of agricultural income for the first time,
- reform the tax authority and introduce tax assessments,
- increase development spending on poverty reduction,
- establish a micro-credit system,
- To set up funding programs for selected economic sectors (agriculture, gas and oil, information technology),
- reactivate the privatization programs,
- to expand the range of exports beyond textiles,
- to commercialize energy production and to resolve the dispute with producers over energy prices,
- Reform the banking sector, including by increasing the independence of the state bank, in order to collect debts more effectively and prevent inefficient credit.
While the Pakistani economic situation was still extremely unstable in 1999, the government is now pointing to some successes. Musharraf particularly raised that sudden increase in currency reserves emerge. The over-indebtedness could be contained. The inflation rate was lowered, development spending and investments increased significantly. (See Tab. 2)
Table 2: Results of the consolidation according to the government
Conditions for Takeover (1999)
After Consolidation (2002)
Foreign currency reserves (US $ billion)
$ 38 billion
$ 36 billion
Gross domestic product growth (%)
Tax revenue (annually - billion PRs)
Remittances from overseas Pakistanis (US $ billion)
Development Spending (Annually - Billion PRs)
Share of debt repayments in the household (%)
Export (annually - billion US $)
Inflation rate (annually -%)
approx. 10 (1990-1999)
Market value Karachi (KSE in points)
Direct Investment (US $ million)
Ministry of Science and Technology budget (billion PRs.)
However, critics fear that the positive results will not last. They attribute the current growth to a large extent to the additional transfer of benefits from the international credit system and from the USA. Musharraf received pledges of military and economic aid worth $ 1.1 billion and bilateral debt relief of an additional $ 1 billion.
General Musharraf also felt compelled to put a number of political reforms on the agenda. Of course, he put the main blame for Pakistan's current problems on the leadership teams of the two major parties, the PML-Nawaz and the PPP of Benazir Bhutto. During their changing periods of government in the nineties, they would have primarily managed to make money through their clientele policy, neglecting the common good. In the wake he saw it as a main task that To redistribute powers in the political system through constitutional amendments, above all to limit the power of the victorious party leader and prime minister and to increase that of the president and the military leadership. At the same time, a new political leadership should be established, which is built up from the local level in order to limit the access of the large landowning families to politics.
Even if Musharraf's allegations were not without a certain basis, his actions were often viewed as partisan. Much of it served to eliminate opponents of the military regime and to cement his own position in Pakistani politics. The
Political system, elections, constitution
Economic, tax and financial policy
|Religious School System (Madrasa)|
Public safety, illegal weapons
NAB went on allegations of misconduct by politicians z. In some cases it was quite arbitrary, and charges against promises to cooperate with the regime could also be dealt with. The NRA made numerous proposals aimed at strengthening Musharraf's personal role in the political process.
The political reforms began with a strengthening of local self-government. In December 2000 and May 2001, representatives were elected in the 89 districts. However, no parties were allowed to participate in the elections, only individuals. The heads of the new district administrations, (Na-zim) should be responsible for administrative and development spending in the district. This system has already been heavily criticized. One reason is that the Nazims are regarded as the political reserve of the president to whom they owe their office. Another is the competition with the provincial and municipal governments they face
z. T. to dispute the resources and possibilities of influence.
On April 30, 2002, Musharraf was confirmed as president in a controversial referendum after he had taken over the office on June 20, 2001 from the previous owner by decree. Then Musharraf decreed extensive constitutional changes in a shell regulation (Legal Framework Order 2002). He was now given new powers over the Prime Minister. He could again dismiss the government (Article 58-2).
Further reform efforts were directed towards the Education sector. This was particularly important to the USA and other international donors. It was about reforming both secular and religious education. According to the latest estimates, more than ten thousand religious seminars (Madrasa), whose qualifications are equivalent to middle to university level in Pakistan, educated around 1.5 million students. They have become an influential form of religious mass education, especially because they give the lower classes access to formal education in large numbers. All Islamic currents maintain their own MadrasaNetworks. Last but not least, practice by offering free training and accommodation Madrasa undiminished high attraction. Most of them, however, forego modern subjects and stick to a traditional theological canon from the 17th century (dars-e nizami) firmly. This creates a basic attitude that is sometimes very unfamiliar and unrealistic. General knowledge is only imparted to a limited extent. Many graduates, in turn, only find employment in Islamic institutions or set up their own. The Madrasa saw a significant influx of finances and students during the Afghan war. Numerous new schools were founded with American money. They recruited fighters for Afghanistan and organized part of the military resistance against the Soviet intervention. Students, especially those from the purist Deobandis movement, were actively involved in militant groups afterwards, including those in support of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
That is why the USA and other western states are in the process of reforming the MadrasaSector is key to the stabilization of Pakistan. A corresponding government ordinance (see Tab. 3) should improve the registration system in order to maintain control over newly emerging institutions and their funding. Government funds are to be used to encourage them to introduce computers and offer secular education, especially in four basic subjects: Natural Sciences (general science), Mathematics, Pakistan Studies (a combination of history and regional studies) and English. The enrollment of foreign students and the hiring of foreign teachers would have to be approved in advance by the Ministry of the Interior (no-objection certificate). Foreign donations are to be controlled, but the modalities have not been specified. However, due to the undiminished objections of the religious scholars, the ordinance was no longer put into force before the elections. The MMA mobilized its supporters against it.She promised "to stave off secularism and prevent the country from being turned into a colony of America." The reform of the Madrasa was seen by the Islamists as an attempt on behalf of the USA to take Pakistan of its Islamic character. The chances of reforming the Madrasa-Systems are also classified as low for formal reasons. The private financing of the schools through donations makes them largely independent. An expansion of the registration will probably overwhelm the administration.
But secular education also urgently needs to be renewed. Several committees were set up to develop concepts. So far there is still a drastic undersupply in rural areas, where state schools often only exist on paper. At the same time, a wide range of private institutions is developing which, in addition to general educational criteria, also take religious interests into account.
Initiatives were started under Musharraf to reform the universities and strengthen their independence. In contrast, however, formed z. Sometimes there was considerable resistance from teachers and employees who feared that their say would be restricted.
Another important area of reform was that internal security. In the aftermath of the first Afghan war after 1979, the country was flooded with modern weapons for the irregulars. Since then, many of these weapons have made Pakistan unsafe and have led to the emergence of a "Kalashnikov culture"contributed. The war also gave the drug trade a massive boost. Combined with the proliferation of militant groups, this has resulted in an explosive mixture from which mafia-like structures have emerged, especially in the border regions with Afghanistan, the north-western border province and Baluchistan, which occasionally cooperate with corrupt elements of the border troops and the secret service. Musharraf has taken increased measures to collect illegal weapons and restrict or prevent the public carrying of weapons, including in universities and religious seminars. Under US pressure, Musharraf also took action against selected militant groups, banned them and confiscated their assets.
Pakistan's actions were primarily directed against extremist groups involved in the civil war-like sect clashes between Sunnis and Shiites, as well as the attacks against the Ahmadis and Christians minorities. However, he tries to exclude those groups or parts of the militant scene from the persecution that are involved in Kashmir. According to the Pakistani interpretation, the attacks there are part of a struggle for self-determination and thus at least legitimate against military objects. The Islamist resistance in Kashmir is supported by bodies such as the "Pakistan Afghanistan Jihad Council"Coordinated, in which 35 religious and jihad organizations are represented. Participated in the meetings of this body until recently
Representatives of the Pakistani military intelligence service ISI still attended. In the meantime, there is increasing criticism that radical Islamists can regroup and regroup despite the prohibitions. The group notorious for its terrorist acts in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir Lashkar-i Taiba (LT - Holy Army) continues under its old leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and another name (Jama'at al-Da'wat - Party of Missioning) continue their activities more or less unhindered on their traditional premises near Lahore (Muridke) and in training camps for Kashmir fighters. The Sunni extremist group known and banned for assaulting Shiites Sipah-e Sahaba-e Pakistan (SSP - Army of the Companions of the Prophet in Pakistan) held its annual meeting in public at the end of December 2002. Its leader Azam Tariq was successful as an independent candidate in the parliamentary elections. The number of Islamist acts of violence has hardly decreased so far. This affects the reciprocal assassinations of Sunni and Shiite extremists. This includes raids on Western targets such as a group of French engineers or German tourists in May and July 2002, as well as on objects identified with the West, such as Christian charities and churches, in the same year.
Overall, however, the militant activities are not representative of the Islamic sector as a whole. On the one hand, it must be taken into account that about half of the organized Islamic institutions are based on the current of the Barelwis not applicable - named after the north Indian city of Bareilly, whose followers predominantly practice traditional forms of Sufism-oriented popular piety, shrine and saint veneration, which rarely takes on radical features. On the other hand, there are also the puristic ones Deobandis, named after the religious seminar in the north Indian city of Deoband, mainly interested in teaching and observing religious regulations.
As a peculiarity of the Islamic development in South Asia is consider the union of religious scholars in public associations that are also active as political parties. The Jam'iyyat-ul-'Ulama'-e Islam (JUI - Association of Islamic Religious Scholars) represents the largest group. It represents the Deobandi current and represents more traditional lower classes with a village touch. As a counterpart to this, the Barelwis in the Jam'iyyat-ul-'Ulama'-e Pakistan (JUP - Association of Religious Scholars of Pakistan) organized. The smaller one Jama'at-e Islami (JI - Islamic Party) is a rather modern party with strong political ambitions, which mainly appeals to urban constituencies. It is also the driving force behind the Islamist party alliance MMA. You envision the establishment of an Islamist state, albeit on the path of democracy. The puristic ones Ahl-i hadith (AH - People of Tradition) form a relatively small but very active sect current that rejects the Islamic law schools of the Middle Ages. You have close ties to Saudi Arabia. Even with them, militants are only a marginal group. The Shiite minority is supported by the Tahrik-e Ja'ffriya-e Pakistan (TJP - Pakistani Movement of Followers of Shiite Imam Ja'ffar). Even if the MMA was able to significantly increase the influence of religious parties on Pakistani politics in the last elections, its potential for influence hardly exceeds around 15 percent of active voters. This was also confirmed when, after September 11, 2001, General Musharraf forced Pakistan's participation in the anti-terrorist coalition and in the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan against their will.
The possibilities of political Islamism in Pakistan are judged differently. Some analysts point to the massive expansion of the Islamic sector and the institutionalized militancy that is based on at least extensive tolerance by the population through widespread anti-Americanism. In addition, the Islamists, especially from the ranks of the JI, are planning to become a national political force in the country with the aim of legally taking over government. In doing so, they compare themselves with the Hindu party of the BJP in India, with which they share a strong nationalist orientation in addition to the basic religious tone. Other observers are skeptical about the ability of the Islamists to take power in the short term. Pakistan's political system continues to be strongly shaped by the more secular Anglo-Saxon colonial tradition. The Islamists are relatively tightly involved in politics. Even under the military regime, basic freedoms such as freedom of the press, freedom of speech and assembly were largely guaranteed. Most of the electorate also makes decisions based on social and economic criteria. So the Islamists will ultimately be measured by what they can do for the voters, to cope with urgent social and economic problems, where their supply has so far been very limited.
The big ones Parties like the various parliamentary groups of the PML or the PPP differ only slightly in their functioning. They are mainly based on close social and economic clientele interests. Their cohesion is mostly based on personal loyalty to the leaders. The formation of will within the party is hardly transparent and not very democratic. Committees are mostly appointed, programs play a subordinate role. Nevertheless, the Pakistani People's Party is viewed as an anti-establishment party, both by many voters and by the military elite. She organized the resistance especially during the Islamist-oriented military dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq (1977-1988) and still has radical supporters in the cities today. That is why the military tries again and again to keep them from exercising power. In the various wings of the Muslim League, the traditional Pakistani elites dominate, including in particular the interests of rural landowners. Regional and ethnic differences also have a strong influence on Pakistani politics. Occasionally they serve militant groups, especially in Sindh and Baluchistan, as motivation for attacks. Most recently, this has been the case with gas and oil pipelines running through tribal areas in Baluchistan. As the largest province, the Punjab continues to dominate the domestic political constellation. Representatives of the smaller provinces of Sindh, Northwest Frontier Province and Baluchistan repeatedly lead disputes over resources and political power with the Punjabi elite and with the state. The Kalabagh dam project on the Indus River is currently causing a stir. In both Sindh and the Northwest Frontier Province, disadvantages for agriculture are feared.
The basic directions of Pakistani politics have so far been unchanged from major ones
influential family clans determined. As a rule, they are firmly anchored in rural property and control clearly defined territories at the local level. At the federal level, most decisions are made in a relatively narrow circle of senior military leaders and long-term state officials, ally with various family clans. The military traditionally exerts a disproportionate influence on politics, is considered a school, the backbone of the nation and at the same time the largest and best organized party. The repeated periods of military rule have resulted in the military increasingly penetrating civilian areas, purchasing land, running military-owned businesses and holding administrative posts. As a result, they develop a growing interest in participating in civil power. At the same time, there is an alliance of convenience between the military and religious groups for the expanded interpretation of Pakistan's strategic and ideological claims. This offensive Muslim nationalism, known as the "Pakistan ideology", assumes that Pakistan is the home of all Muslims in South Asia. It thus de facto claims a say in the fate of the Muslims who remained in India after the partition of British India in 1947. Pakistan's expanded religious and political self-image also includes active engagement with Afghanistan, Iran, the Central Asian countries and China's Muslim province of Xinjiang. As became clear under the Musharraf administration, the military leadership claims a statutory say in politics in order to secure their privileges. This fact also forms one of the main obstacles to a more flexible attitude by Pakistan in solving the Kashmir conflict. Should this cease to exist, there would no longer be any sensible reason to maintain the disproportionate military expenditure for personnel and armaments, which place tight limits on an urgently needed increase in social and development expenditure.
The legal culture has suffered greatly from the repeated periods of military dictatorship. Associations of lawyers massively criticize the gradual loss of independence of judges and their diminishing competence. The highest judges had to swear a new oath of service to the Musharraf regime. The regime’s right-wing manipulation became clear in the gradual reintroduction of the constitution. Articles that stood in the way of a change of party remained suspended until a government majority in parliament was secured. Individual provisions of the electoral law were amended after the election day. Terrorist prosecution measures are carried out through exceptional laws and special courts, which, due to the deviation from the usual jurisprudence and their often arbitrary character, find little public support.
The strongly ideological one Character of the Pakistani state as a Muslim state South Asia leads to unrealistic premises of Pakistani politics, especially with regard to India, but also to domestic political questions. On the national level, authoritarian and ideological wishful thinking often prevails, while on the local level the striving of the elites to gain advantage dominates. The public sector has been severely neglected. In many areas it was only possible to prevent a collapse through the intervention of the military, for example in the entire energy sector, including oil and gas production
At the same time, despite the neglect of the community, the effects of economic growth and social development can be clearly seen. In many cases they are the result of private initiative, traditional structures or the black market. The spread of computers and their use are not lagging behind countries like India. Satellite television and video shops are also part of everyday life. In addition to the state institutions, the rapidly growing private education system also trains a considerable number of qualified specialists. There have been long-term collaborations with foreign companies that have successfully adjusted to the Pakistani market and its conditions. Even if not as broad as India, Pakistan has repeatedly shown in individual areas that it is also capable of top technical achievements, for example through nuclear explosions or missile technology, even if apparently not without outside help (China, North Korea).
Most of the people in Pakistan live in the countryside. They are dependent on irrigated agriculture and its successor trades. However, unabated high population growth and increasing migration to urban areas create high social pressure there. As a result, the poverty indicators are growing and the per capita income is falling slightly. Less qualified work predominateswhich is also the result of slow literacy and a low level of education. Girls and women in particular are disadvantaged as a result. The modern workforce is few in number due to the relatively modest degree of industrialization. It is hardly organized in a union. Where they exist, collective agreements are based on company agreements. Exceptions are historically well-organized branches of industry such as the state railways or the newspaper and printing industry. Strikes are often linked to political motivation or to enforce local goals by elite representatives. Militias in the service of political parties, private individuals, religious groups or clans play an inglorious role, forcing work stoppages and business closings through threats of violence.
Table 4: Data on Pakistan's economic and social development
GNP per capita (US $)
GDP growth (at fixed prices -%)
Share of GDP (%) of
Balance of Payments (% GDP)
Foreign direct investment (US $ million, current prices)
Illiteracy rate (% - 15 years and older)
in the female population
Unemployment (%) a
Population below the poverty line (%) b
Child mortality (per thousand)
Telephone connections (in thousands)
Personal computer (in thousands)
Internet users (thousand)
Therefore, even today, social interests are still pursued to a large extent via traditional networks with the help of family, clan or tribal relationships. At the same time, one is forming in Pakistan's cities, especially in connection with universities and colleges new more modern elite out trying to get, z. To some extent also via the Internet, regionally and globally. Emerge in greater numbers civil society associations. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are extremely mixed in terms of their objectives and effectiveness. They range from small, liberal elite groups with a low profile, to educational and welfare associations, to nationwide organizations, with religious motives often also playing a role. The Islamists prefer to attack secular NGOs in public as the "Trojan horses" of the West because of their frequent international connections.
General Musharraf is currently trying hard to bring the country out of the foreign policy isolation into which it had fallen, especially since the late 1980s. After the end of the Cold War and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the US turned away from Pakistan. They tried to stop Pakistan's nuclear ambitions with sanctions.Military and security cooperation came to a standstill. Pakistan increasingly pursued its own regional goals. This also applied to his active engagement in Afghanistan, most recently as a key ally of the Taliban. This radical Sunni student militia set about transforming the country into an authoritarian religious state. Pakistan's strategic interest, however, was rather to pacify Afghanistan in order to secure access to Central Asia. Pakistan's elites hoped that this would provide "strategic depth" in the event of a conflict with India. From the point of view of Pakistani military planners, the geostrategic expansion of India was the decisive advantage that was responsible for the defeat of Pakistan in the three joint wars so far. The loss of a part of the country when East Pakistan emerged in 1971 with - as Pakistan thinks - aid to India's Bangladesh, has remained a trauma. Pakistan refers to statements by leading Indian politicians, especially from the Hindu nationalist camp, who to this day do not recognize the existence of Pakistan and want to reverse the division of the subcontinent in 1947. Conversely, many Indian politicians believe that Pakistan's Islamists in particular are speculating on a re-establishment of Islamic rule over all of South Asia, as in the times of the glorious Islamic Mughal empires in the late Middle Ages.
Table 5: Selected data on the strategic balance of power between Pakistan and India
Land area (km²)
3 287 590
Population (estimated million)
1 0458 (2002)
Population growth (% estimated)
GDP growth (2003%)
Literacy rate (2001%)
Child mortality (2002 - per thousand)
Oil production (barrels per day - b / d) b
Oil reserves (billion bbl) a
Natural gas reserves (trillion cubic feet - tcb) a
Nuclear power plants b
Military Spending (2001 - $ billion)
Ratio of military spending to GDP (2001 -%)
Armed forces under arms
1 263 000
Nuclear warheads (estimated) c
Nuclear weapons-grade delivery vehicles (approx.) d
Short, medium, long range missiles
Short, medium, long range aircraft
k. A., 90, 171
88, 250, 10
Swell: Compiled according to [Pakistan] Economic Survey 2002-2003, loc. cit .; Government of India, Economic Survey 2002-2003, at http://www.indiabudget.nic.in/es2002-03/esmain.htm; US Central Intelligence Agency: The World Fact book 2002. Washington, DC: online at http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html;
a:Oil and Gas Journal, online at http://orc.pennnet.com;
b: Uranium Information Center, India and Pakistan: Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper 45, Melbourne, October 2002, at http://www.uic.com.au/nip45.htm;
c: Duncan Lennox: Comparing India and Pakistan's strategic nuclear weapon capabilities, in: Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, May 30, 2002, at http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jsws/jsws020530_1_n.shtm1; Forces, 2002, in: Proliferation News and Resources, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington): online, at: http://www.ceip.org/files/nonprolif/numbers/india.asp; Pakistan: Nuclear Forces, 2002, ibid., At: http://www.ceip.org/files/nonprolif/numbers/pakistan.asp.
This contrast is concentrated in the Kashmir conflict. It is about the affiliation of the former Principality of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the last unsolved questions of the division of the subcontinent. A Hindu prince ruled over a Muslim majority of the population, who quickly joined India in 1948 under the pressure of tribal attacks from the direction of the newly founded Pakistan. In the war that followed, both countries occupied the principality. A ceasefire line, converted to a control line in 1972, separates the two-thirds administered by India from the one-third under Pakistani administration. The current clashes mainly revolve around the Indian-controlled part and the so-called Kashmir Valley. In 1990 a revolt broke out there by separatist-oriented forces who pleaded for independence or an annexation to Pakistan. They reacted to election manipulation and restricted rights for Indian Kashmir. According to observers, however, this conflict has been increasingly dominated since 1994 by foreign rioters who came from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East and pursued an Islamist agenda. To this day, it is believed that without the logistical support of the insurgents from Pakistan's army and secret service, their continued operational capability could not be ensured, especially in view of the almost 700,000 Indian security forces stationed there. In the most recent attempt to find a compromise with India, too, President Musharraf is trying to make progress dependent on a solution to the Kashmir issue. He believes the US interest in defusing the conflict plays into his hands.
The US’s increased attention to South Asia is not only due to Pakistan's role in the anti-terrorist coalition. It is primarily a result of the nuclearization of India and Pakistan in May 1998, when both countries first detonated explosives. While India expressly refrained from using nuclear weapons for the first time, Pakistan has not done so on the grounds of its conventional inferiority. Security and warning systems are insufficiently developed from the perspective of the West, while Pakistan and India unanimously reject this as Western discrimination. Western sanctions that were issued for both countries after the nuclear explosions have now largely been lifted. In the eyes of the USA, the Kashmir conflict is a potential cause for the use of nuclear weapons. Pakistan believes that the nuclear option has brought the strategic parity with India that it has always striven for. This is supposed to prevent an acute outbreak of conflict. In fact, the opposite appears to be the case. In an attempt to test the limits of the resilience of the nuclear option, both countries have undertaken several military actions and marches in recent years that have brought them to the brink of war, such as the 1999 intervention in the Indian-controlled Kargil and the deployment of over a million troops on the common border in 2002.
At the initiative of the Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee, another attempt has now been made to settle open questions in the relationship through a summit meeting. Currently, groups of experts are preparing proposals for both the Kashmir conflict and the subject areas. The USA in particular is pushing for concrete progress in reducing the danger of nuclear war and in easing the situation at the joint control line in Kashmir. They demand from Pakistan to take more action against the irregulars. At the same time, communication between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir is to be made easier for the civilian population. The political initiative is to be increasingly passed on to Kashmiri politicians. In addition, India should include the irregulars in talks. For this purpose a timetable (roadmap) for the Kashmir conflict, similar to the one in the Middle East. However, the USA's active mediator role continues to meet with reservations in India. Pakistan claims to have done everything possible to prevent volunteer fighters from entering Indian-controlled Kashmir across the green border. More radical measures by Pakistan against Islamist intervention could also expose the administration to direct attacks from that side. Musharraf particularly insists on Indian consideration, especially the reduction of the massive Indian security presence, as well as the initiation of direct negotiations with the involvement of the rioters.
Pakistan's relationship with the US is divided. This was also reflected in Musharraf's recent visit to the United States in June 2003. The promised support is gladly accepted. But attempts by the US to secure permanent bases and political say in Pakistan and the surrounding area are met with suspicion. In addition, in view of historical precedents, the durability and reliability of the American commitment is questioned. The pro-American stance of the Musharraf administration also enjoys little legitimacy among the population and the political class. Musharraf uses the cooperation with the USA to stabilize his personal power and to counter the pressure from India. For this he is ready to make far-reaching political concessions. He put up for discussion whether Pakistan should participate with its own troops in Iraq and whether it should also recognize Israel in the course of the Middle East negotiations. Both are sensitive issues and highly controversial in the country. Anti-Americanism has become a mass phenomenon in Pakistan. At the same time, many elite representatives appreciate the advantages of the US and the West in education, technology and business and send their children there for education.
Pakistan's participation in the international anti-terrorist coalition is, however, indispensable for the West. The success of reconstruction in Afghanistan, which has so far been unsecured, depends to a large extent on this. It must be assumed that the remaining structures of the Taliban and Al-Qa'ida have withdrawn to the Afghan-Pakistani border area or to the big cities of Pakistan, where they still have extensive operational possibilities, although the Pakistani security forces are increasingly closer to the West in this area Cooperate question. However, as long as the Pakistani government shares certain basic concerns of the Islamists to a limited extent, for example with regard to Kashmir, and parts of the security apparatus are intertwined with them, fighting militant Islamist structures will remain difficult.
Despite the great importance of Pakistan, the US is prepared to show greater consideration for India, which it sees as the more important country in the region in the long term. This is evident in the continued US pressure on Pakistan for Kashmir, but also in the refusal to deliver certain offensive weapons to Pakistan, such as the desired F-16 fighter aircraft capable of nuclear weapons.
The fact that Pakistan is also contributing to the problems Afghanistan pursues its own goals related to the role of the Pakhtuns. Half of these tribes live in both countries. They form the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. They were the Taliban's strongest support. The fact that the Pakhtuns are currently largely excluded from exercising power in Afghanistan is a problem for Pakistan. Negative effects on Pakistan result again and again from refugee and retreat movements from Pakhtunen to Pakistani territory. Lately, there has also been an increase in friction at the shared border that is not completely demarcated. It is based on the Durand line from 1892 and was repeatedly questioned, especially by Pakhtunen in Afghanistan. It is unclear whether, in addition to official cooperation with Afghanistan, Pakistan will also tolerate efforts to destabilize the Karzai administration.
Pakistan's relationship to the (Shiite) Iran. The Sunni Islamization policy of Zia-ul-Haq, through which the Shiite minority in Pakistan felt disadvantaged, contributed to this. About 20% of the Muslims belong to it. Iran also competed with Saudi Arabia for influence in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coalitions of forces were formed that fought against each other. On one side stood Iran, radical Shiite groups in Pakistan and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. On the other side were Saudi Arabia, radical Sunni groups fighting in Pakistan and Kashmir, and the Sunni Taliban in Afghanistan. The Pakistani establishment was closer to the Sunnis, while the Shiites were strongly represented in the largest opposition party, the PPP. Musharraf is trying to rein in this polarization, which has only created problems for Pakistan. It also led to a further rapprochement between Iran and India. This in turn is also reflected in India's close ties to the Afghan government of the Northern Alliance, so that Pakistan is confronted with "foreign" interests everywhere. Pakistan is therefore increasingly trying to find a compromise with Iran, especially on practical issues. Since Iran is under strong pressure from the US, while Pakistan is cooperating closely with the US in the fight against terrorism, the prospects for rapprochement are slim.
Also Pakistan's attempts in post-Soviet Central Asia Gaining a foothold goes back to the race with India. In the beginning, Pakistan's elite clearly overestimated the Islamic orientation of these countries. Despite many kind gestures, Pakistan has little to offer these countrieswhich they cannot get better elsewhere, including from India, whose volume of trade with the Central Asian states is about twice that of Pakistan. However, there is interest in expanding cooperation in the energy sector. Turkmenistan wants to sell its natural gas to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan or Iran, but the financing of this pipeline, which was already discussed during the Taliban's term of office, is uncertain. The commercial viability of the project, however, depends on the participation of India, whose rapidly growing market is hoped for. However, India is reluctant to depend on Pakistan in the face of the uncertain situation on such an issue. Pakistan is particularly interested in expanding the infrastructure towards Central Asia in order to open up these trade routes. It would like to participate on a larger scale in the construction of a rail system in Afghanistan and in the repair of war-damaged roads, provided that international credit is available.
With China Pakistan maintains a long-term so-called, which all Pakistani politicians have valued "All-Weather Friendship". Both are sticking to these relationships, which also include important military components, in order to create room for maneuver vis-à-vis India and the USA. Since the end of the Cold War, however, China has clearly distanced itself on various issues. Under pressure from the USA, it had to restrict or give up its cooperation in the nuclear and missile sectors. On Kashmir, China is increasingly pursuing a position of equidistance from both parties to the conflict. The recent rapprochement between India and China, which has settled various open issues such as the status of Tibet and Sikkim, also contributes to this. China is also suspicious of the Islamist activities emanating from Pakistani soil in its Xinjiang border region.
Pakistan is increasingly perceiving the European Community as a foreign and development policy actor. Since the start of cooperation in 1976, the EU has launched projects and programs in Pakistan worth € 300 million, mainly to combat poverty.
Beyond the EU, Pakistan's leadership has traditionally held Germany in high regard. Pakistan is a priority country for German development aid.
In the scientific field of education, the DAAD and the Alexander von Hum boldt Foundation support scholarship programs for young scientists. A regular dialogue is maintained in political relations. In the Pakistani public, Germany's negative attitude towards the US intervention in Iraq met with undivided approval. The German engagement in Afghanistan in particular has been attentively registered, both with regard to the Bonn conference and with the international peacekeeping force ISAF. So it is not surprising that in the run-up to President Musharraf's recent visit to Germany, the proposal was discussed whether Germany could play a similar role in negotiations between Pakistan and India, following the example of the Afghanistan Conference. However, Germany has not yet responded to this, especially as long as India does not comment on it, especially since India as a rule strictly rejects international mediation.
Germany is making every effort to support the consolidation and democratization process. As early as March, all parliamentary groups in the Bundestag had passed a joint motion entitled "For the Democratic Renewal of Pakistan". As a gesture to Musharraf, after the visit in June 2003, Germany lifted the previous export embargo on arms. Pakistan is primarily interested in spare parts for radar systems and the like. However, like other Western states, Germany believes that Pakistan could do more to combat Islamic militancy in its own country, promote a stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan and prevent the infiltration of fighters into Kashmir. After the attacks on ISAF troops in Kabul, which last killed four German soldiers on June 7, 2003, Afghan President Karzai suspected that the attackers had come from their retreat in Pakistan and disappeared there again.
Germany is closely following the activities of the religious party alliance MMA, especially in the north-west frontier province.This applies above all to possible effects on individual development projects, including the inclusion of women, since the regional focus of German development aid lies in the NWGP. The German and other European governments are also carefully monitoring the activities of the Pakistani secret service in Europe, which are supposed to focus on the procurement of armaments technology in the nuclear, biological and chemical sectors. Efforts to integrate Pakistan into an international nuclear non-proliferation policy have so far largely failed.
From a Pakistani point of view, Germany's opportunities to exert influence in the region are seen as limited. Relations with France and Great Britain, which Musharraf also visited in June-July 2003, traditionally enjoy a higher priority in Western Europe. France in particular is seen as a potential supplier of modern weapons, for which Pakistan has tried in vain, z. For example, the Mirage 2005s nuclear-weapon combat aircraft, which India is also planning to acquire. In addition, Musharraf was interested in intensive consultations with the three Western European powers, as there are numerous points of contact due to Pakistan's current membership in the UN Security Council. At the same time, Pakistan tried not to portray the trip to Western Europe as an attempt to play these countries off against the USA.
Much is at stake for Pakistan's politicians. In the USA, the demands of conservative circles do not want to fall silent to put Pakistan on the list of "rogue states" because of the continued Islamist militancy and the existing weapons of mass destruction. Musharraf therefore also emphasizes that in the current situation he sees no reason to take off his military uniform as president and give up the post of army chief. From the trip to the USA and Western Europe, he derived a growing recognition of his politics. He therefore sees his position both domestically and internationally strengthened. But his interlocutors have made it clear to Musharraf that many problems are only just beginning to be solved.
1 - Qa'id-e Azam (Urdu) - Great Leader: nickname of the Pakistani state founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1878-1948).
2 - Reyko Huang: South Asia and the United States: Assessing new policies and old problems, Washington May 24, 2002, on the website of the Center for Defense Information Washington under
3 - David A. Sanger: Bush Offers Pakistan Aid, but No F-16's. in New York Times, June 25, 2003
4 - To the text of the Legal Framework Order, see Dawn. August 22, 2002.
5 - European Union, Pakistan Country Strategy Paper(2002-2006) on http: // www. europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/pakistan/csp/02_06_en.pdf.
6 - See country information from the Foreign Office on Pakistan at http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/www/de/laenderinfos/laen-der/laender_ausgabe_html? type_id = 14 & land_id = 129, as well as Klaus-Werner Jonas (Member of the Bundestag, SPD); Pakistan in the light of German and European foreign policy, at the event of the German-Pakistani Forum on June 10, 2003 in the Reichstag in Berlin "Pakistan after the war in Iraq: domestic policy implications - foreign policy options".
© Friedrich Ebert Foundation | technical support | net edition fes-library | January 2002
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